Hey everyone! It’s Isaiah back with another article. Today, I’ll be reviewing an underrated deck that can go toe-to-toe with almost every other archetype in this format: Lucmetal.
##Pokémon - 8 4 Zacian V SSH 138 2 Zamazenta V SSH 139 2 Lucario & Melmetal-GX UNB 120 ##Trainer Cards - 39 4 Professor's Research SSH 178 4 Marnie SSH 169 4 Boss's Orders RCL 189 3 Mallow & Lana CEC 198 4 Switch CES 147 4 Quick Ball SSH 179 4 Metal Saucer SSH 170 4 Metal Goggles TEU 148 3 Lillie's Poké Doll CEC 197 1 Pokégear 3.0 UNB 182 4 Chaotic Swell CEC 187 ##Energy - 13 13 Metal Energy 8
I won’t be speaking much on the list today because it is straightforward. The deck can’t draw a ton of cards every turn, so you play four of everything you want! Four Chaotic Swell has really impressed me. You want it in play every turn of the game, regardless of the matchup, so playing a full set of four makes sense. The one Pokegear is the only single copy of a card in the deck, but one that should stay. Pokegear gives you added consistency in the early game, but also helps you fish for Mallow & Lana and Boss’s Orders in the mid-to-late game. It is an all around amazing card and one that has saved me multiple times. With the list out of the way, let’s get into how to play this beast!
I want to start off by saying this: Lucmetal is a crazy deck.
What do I mean? Well, for starters, the deck is built differently than any other deck in Standard. If you look at the list above, it omits Crobat V and Dedenne-GX, two of the strongest support Pokemon we’ve ever seen. In addition, the deck plays not one, not two, not three, but four Chaotic Swell! Finally, it plays 15 Supporters (16 if you count Pokegear) in a format where games last an average of five turns… Who thought this list was a good idea?
While these criticisms would be problems for most decks, Lucmetal stays competitive because it has a unique win condition for every matchup. Because Lucmetal plays with a different game plan than other decks, it makes sense that the deck doesn’t look like other meta decks. As deceiving as it may be, with Lucmetal the Prize count is not how you tell if you’re winning the game. In fact, for most of your games, Prizes might as well be non-existent.
Another great thing about Lucmetal is that it’s very strong against lower-tier decks because it isn’t focused on winning the game fast. By taking your time, setting up and healing off a few attacks this deck can beat anything.
This makes the deck quite complex and hard to play. While this format is far from skill-less, closed-list Lucmetal has been the most challenging deck I’ve played so far. While I’ll do what I can to explain how to play the deck in this article, I won’t be able to cover every situation. Know this, stick with the deck, learn from your mistakes and you’ll be rewarded!
Additionally, Lucmetal is much better in tournaments with open decklists. This deck loves to play slow, grindy games where every resource matters. When games run long, the ability to see exactly what resources your opponent has left is critical. This is especially important in games where you attempt to deck your opponent out.
Finally, you always need to keep deck-out in mind with this deck. Most other decks in the format only have a chance to beat Lucmetal if they put on a ton of early-game pressure. To put on this pressure, they will often be forced to overextend. This can leave them without many switching options or Energy left and a timely Boss’s Orders or two can sometimes spell the end for your opponent. In fact, in many matchups, winning by deck-out is as common as winning by taking Prizes! However, decking your opponent out is not always simple. Watch your opponent’s discard constantly for Switch, Boss’s Orders and Air Balloon counts. Every one of these cards used is a vital resource spent and one step closer to you decking your opponent out. Not taking KOs to open Bench spots, saving Full Metal Wall GX until the right moment, and passing for multiple turns in the mid-game is often required. In my opinion, this is what truly takes Lucmetal to the next level.
This deck reminds me of Zoro / Magcargo from Worlds 2017 and Zoro / Naganadel from NAIC 2019. Like both broken decks, Lucmetal has a strong attacker that can win games, but also an element of control it can fall back on.
Here’s an example of a game where I was able to run my opponent’s resources thin, force them to play conservatively to avoid deck-out and then ultimately won because of that:
On turn two it wasn’t looking great, my opponent had just one-shot a Zacian, so I used Boss on Octillery to buy some time and potentially achieve a deck-out. However, with the help of a few Scoop Up Net and a Pokemon Catcher heads, my Lucmetal was KOed just two turns later!
With few options left, I stacked up a Lucmetal and used Full Metal Wall GX on a Malamar. They then had to use another Spiral Energy powering it up, meaning they were down three. As soon as they attached the Energy, I slammed down the Boss’s Orders on the Octillery again – they were down three Scoop Up Net, three Spiral Energy and one Psychic Energy! Surely there was no way they could get out of this…
Unfortunately for me, they had two Tower of Waters and I prized two of my Chaotic Swell! I healed up my Lucmetal and went for a desperation Boss’s Orders on Oricorio-GX and hit it for 150, praying my opponent couldn’t move it. They didn’t have enough cards to one-shot Lucmetal that turn, so they were forced into letting me KO Oricorio-GX. Combined with a Marnie, I put them down to only four cards and was feeling pretty good.
I drew Chaotic Swell off Prizes, and was back in business! I noticed that they had three Korrina’s Focus in their discard pile, meaning they only had one left in their deck. I used Boss’s Orders to bring up Octillery once again and healed my Lucmetal back to full HP.
As soon as they searched out their fourth Korinna’s Focus with Octillery I used Marnie, putting the Supporter to the bottom of their deck, and leaving them with no way to draw! Without any way to get enough cards in their hand to one-shot Lucmetal, my opponent was forced to pass, and I cleaned up the game with a few Heavy Impact attacks.
While this is a very specific game, if you use your resources correctly almost any game is winnable, no matter how bad it may seem.